Babymoon : What is a babymoon – and should I have one?
What is a babymoon?
Babymoons do not involve a baby. That’s the first thing you should know. So, if you are staring down at your baby as you read this, you’re too late (but don’t despair: here are our experts’ favourite holidays for parents with new babies, from UK weekends to short and longer-haul sun).
No, babymoons are your last gasp at coupledom, a small romantic interlude, the final hurrah before the baby arrives.
They are typically taken in the second trimester – after you’ve had the 12-week scan, and before it becomes inadvisable to fly.
I took a week-long hiking and eating trip in Naples and the Amalfi Coast because I felt energetic and hungry – but many prefer to fly and flop.
What are the health concerns?
Common sense dictates that your health (and that of your growing baby) are paramount as you plan your trip: consider the availability of healthcare wherever you’re going, make sure that you have appropriate insurance, and talk to your midwife and doctor before you book (see here for the NHS tips on travel during pregnancy).
Where should I go?
This really depends on what your top priority is. I’d recommend considering: relaxtion; fitness; comfort; ease of travel; all of the books that you’d like to read for the next five or so years, crammed into one short holiday.
Best of Britain
Your easiest option, if you have health complications or are nervous about going abroad, is to stay in the UK.
Book into a great London hotel for a weekend of theatre, fine dining and pampering (while treatment rooms aren’t luxe, Neals Yard Remedies offers a range of excellent pre-natal massages). For hotels, I love Brown’s, or you could check in to the Rosewood if you’re bringing a dog, but there are plenty of fine options.
If you’re feeling energetic, this is a lovely time to soak up culture with your partner – or a friend or parent – before the baby grounds you for a while. Why not consider one of these 25 city breaks for 2017?
There’s a particular sort of relaxation in the mountains. Whether you embark on a hiking trip (try this beautiful and keenly-priced Mallorcan option and you could also get in some late-season swimming) or book into a Swiss spa (I love Bad Ragaz, set in a beautiful town with plenty of swimming pools, a gorgeous spa, and on-site medical experts who can help you design the perfect relaxation routine for you).
Great options for short-haul sun include Greece (see here for our guide to the best Greek islands) and the Canary Islands (read our full guide here, including romantic hotels and activities).
The spread of Zika has made expectant parents increasingly nervous about where to go for sun. Below, we pick several winter sun destinations that would suit pregnant women. Be sure to read this travel health advice for babymooners. Here are five great sunny options.
What if I have an older child joining?
It’s always a party with a toddler – but if you and your spouse wish to actually relax, and outsource some of the childcare, consider Anantara Vilamoura in the Algarve.
This elegant modern hotel just a 20-minute drive from Faro airport is large enough to have two children’s swimming pools (one directly next to a wonderful seafood restaurant) and a good-sized, well-run kids’ club (which takes young people from a few weeks after birth), but the hotel is small and well-run enough to offer exceptional service and excellent food, and a true Algarvian flair.
The hotel is surrounded by excellent golf courses, and the hotel can arrange visits to charming local towns. Plus, Portugal is close enough (flights are just over two hours), and the shoulder season long enough (expect weather at least in the 20s from mid-April til October) that you could even go for a long weekend.